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PERSONAL REFLECTION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 166-171

“More Alike Than Unalike?” A Personal Reflection on Working to Support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors in Greece


1 Centre for Mental Health and Community Research, Department of Psychology and Social Sciences Institute, Maynooth University, Ireland
2 PhD, Centre for Mental Health and Community Research, Department of Psychology and Social Sciences Institute, Maynooth University, Ireland

Correspondence Address:
Maria Gialama
Centre for Mental Health and Community Research, Department of Psychology and Social Sciences Institute, John Hume Building, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co.Kildare
Ireland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_19_20

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In late 2018, motivated (and intrigued) by the scale of one of the largest and long-standing humanitarian crises in history, we embarked on two separate but related journeys to the island of Lesvos to work with unaccompanied refugee and asylum-seeking minors and to link in with NGOs working in the region. Peering through the prism of the current pandemic, the aim of this paper is to reflect on this life changing experience to share the on-the-ground reality and the true stories of war, violence and displacement as narrated by the children/young people with whom we worked and whom we met. In particular, we suggest that the integration of culturally appropriate and creative mental health and psychosocial support interventions in schools/educational settings might provide one way of supporting these children, as suggested by several authors in the international literature, but also in the context of a number of key learning based on our own experiences.


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